I recently came across the concept of "Owed Respect" versus "Earned Respect". It’s in reference to how leaders engage with employees, but for me it points to a deeper
understanding that can be applied between any two people, in any moment.
Owed Respect is realizing and recognizing our common humanity.
When we interact with anyone, no matter the person, we can always afford them the basic dignity of being human. We can always be mature and respectful, and offer our goodwill.
Earned Respect speaks more to specific behaviours. It’s another layer of how we navigate the relationship beyond what is owed. In business terms it could be something like affording more trust and responsibility
to those who have been more habitually reliable.